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Expats in Thailand turning to the Elite Card to avoid visa hassles - Bloomberg


rooster59

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Expats in Thailand turning to the Elite Card to avoid visa hassles - Bloomberg

 

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Image: Spring News

 

Bloomberg has reported that Thailand is being seen as a safe haven for well-heeled foreigners.

 

Consequently interest in the country's "Elite Card" scheme is growing. And that interest is being fueled by expats already living in Thailand who would rather pay high fees than go through visa hassles such as repeated trips to immigration and depositing money in the bank.

 

The card has been around for 17 years but there were more than 2,000 new members up to the end of this fiscal year representing an increase of 6.8% on the previous year. Revenue is 1.4 billion baht.

 

And 70% of the new subscriptions are those already living in Thailand tired of jumping through paperwork hoops on other types of visa, they said.

 

But it comes with a cost. 

 

Spring News in reporting the Bloomberg story said that five years of an Elite card costs 470,000 baht, 10 years 932,000 baht and 20 years 1.87 million.

 

Sources: Spring News and Bloomberg

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-08-15
 
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9 minutes ago, rooster59 said:

Spring News in reporting the Bloomberg story said that five years of an Elite card costs 470,000 baht, 10 years 932,000 baht and 20 years 1.87 million.

I thought it was 5 years for 500,000 baht, 20 years for 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 Baht depending on the golf and spa addition, and the 10 years was for a relative/family version and was 1 mil baht for each member.  Maybe I am wrong and they are using currency exchange rates for the story.

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16 minutes ago, Rancid said:

Mind you, for those with the spare cash, it probably does look more appealing than the dehumanizing long stay visa process.

1,900 baht Vs 470,000 for 5 years, I have money, can afford to get one no problem, but who wants to pay 25,000% extra, hmmm, maybe some with more zeros in their account but less brain cells up top, each to their own, of course 🙂

 

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2 hours ago, rooster59 said:

fueled by expats already living in Thailand who would rather pay high fees than go through visa hassles such as repeated trips to immigration and depositing money in the bank.

seriously ?

 

it is because IMMIGRATION is making it impossible for a part of foreigners to live here a peaceful life with their family and thus pushing them into either scammer AGENTS in bed with corrupted immigration officers for a lot of money, or  this fake card elite scam that gives you not much for your money, as it is GONE after 5 years...

 

 

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54 minutes ago, Rancid said:

Mind you, for those with the spare cash, it probably does look more appealing than the dehumanizing long stay visa process.

If you don't leave and return, thus getting stamped in for a one-year permission of stay, then you also have to do the one year trip to Immigration to renew your extension. Yes, the Elite outfit will hold your hand for this -- but for 3000bt, so too will my retirement extension agent. And, with corvid, it would seem most of these Elite holders can't travel, thus need to visit Imm for a new one year permission of stay. Perhaps Elite holders will get travel into and out of Thailand preference -- that would, of course sweeten the cost benefit equation. But for us old farts who don't travel out of Thailand -- can't quite see the cost matching the benefit.....

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3 hours ago, ThailandRyan said:

I thought it was 5 years for 500,000 baht, 20 years for 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 Baht depending on the golf and spa addition, and the 10 years was for a relative/family version and was 1 mil baht for each member.  Maybe I am wrong and they are using currency exchange rates for the story.

I also thought so....

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3 hours ago, ThailandRyan said:

I thought it was 5 years for 500,000 baht, 20 years for 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 Baht depending on the golf and spa addition, and the 10 years was for a relative/family version and was 1 mil baht for each member.  Maybe I am wrong and they are using currency exchange rates for the story.

Checked.. Now.. You are right...64005319_Screenshot2020-08-15at09_15_48.thumb.png.ca0b27a4c1e0708ff8b0b55026bf016b.png

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It seems like total rip off especially if over 50.

It makes me wonder what type of education or work people did when they complain about how difficult, time consuming and confusing a simple retirement extension is.

If you have the basic requested documents go to the bank in the morning then head to immigration, it is maybe 1/2 day out of 365.

The 90 day never takes more then a few minutes.

Not sure if it is laziness or just brain confusion inability to organize.

 

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1 hour ago, 4MyEgo said:

1,900 baht Vs 470,000 for 5 years, I have money, can afford to get one no problem, but who wants to pay 25,000% extra, hmmm, maybe some with more zeros in their account but less brain cells up top, each to their own, of course 🙂

 

 

You modest little fellow you! 😉🤭

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Only if the situation changes for family or married will I consider it. I wonder if Bloomberg is more or less looking at the Chinese buying them up. Don’t you still need health Thai insurance with this? 

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TAT, who runs this scam, claims that you will get a 5, 10, or 20 year visa. Nonsense! Only one-year and then apply for another year extension.

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Advertorial probably sponsored by the Thai government who are desperate and running out of money. 

 

There would not be more than a tiny number of expats that would waste money that way. 

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5 minutes ago, ronaldo0 said:

I thought you still need to do 90 day report even with elite visa ?

Correct.

 

I'd be willing to pay maybe 40-50k a year for an elite visa, so max 250k for 5 years, but at double that it just makes very little sense, unless you are genuinely rich, and even then you could just chuck much less money at a visa agent who'd be delighted to take your business. 500k is over £12,000 it just seems like a silly amount.

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5 hours ago, ThailandRyan said:

I thought it was 5 years for 500,000 baht, 20 years for 1,000,000 or 2,000,000 Baht depending on the golf and spa addition, and the 10 years was for a relative/family version and was 1 mil baht for each member.  Maybe I am wrong and they are using currency exchange rates for the story.

They're quoting the prices before VAT is added, the 5 year membership appears to be VAT exempt for some reason.

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5 hours ago, rooster59 said:

Spring News in reporting the Bloomberg story said that five years of an Elite card costs 470,000 baht,

My retirement visa costs me 9,500 for 5 years [1,900 x 5], why would I want to pay 470,000 for the same time-scale?

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1 minute ago, hotchilli said:

My retirement visa costs me 9,500 for 5 years [1,900 x 5], why would I want to pay 470,000 for the same time-scale?

You would not.  Its obviously more aimed at people who cannot get that (too young, or not wanting to put said funds in Bank Account).

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4 minutes ago, SteveK said:

Correct.

 

I'd be willing to pay maybe 40-50k a year for an elite visa, so max 250k for 5 years, but at double that it just makes very little sense, unless you are genuinely rich, and even then you could just chuck much less money at a visa agent who'd be delighted to take your business. 500k is over £12,000 it just seems like a silly amount.

Yeah too expensive for what it is . Would pay a million for lifetime one or half a million for 15-20 years , but for cost of elite visa now I will put up with the hoop jumping every year for fraction of the cost doing it the way I do it now . Always bothers me that they never take into account as part of visa applications if people have property here they have bought outright . Having to justify bank statements , photos of house and rooms etc yearly when you have paid several million for a house that is in you and your Thai wife’s name drives me nuts even after 13 years !

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1 hour ago, upena said:

TAT, who runs this scam, claims that you will get a 5, 10, or 20 year visa. Nonsense! Only one-year and then apply for another year extension.

The visa length refers to the visa in your passport and it's validity length which is 5 years from the date it's issued.

 

If you join for 20 years they give you 4 visas each of which lasts for 5 years one after the other.

 

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6 minutes ago, hotchilli said:

My retirement visa costs me 9,500 for 5 years [1,900 x 5], why would I want to pay 470,000 for the same time-scale?

Not everyone qualifies for a retirement visa, some of us are far too young to get one of those.

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4 hours ago, Rancid said:

Mind you, for those with the spare cash, it probably does look more appealing than the dehumanizing long stay visa process.

Even if I was a billionaire several times over I would not get an Elite Visa, just get an agent, then you will have no running about for anything, a damn sight lot cheaper than an Elite, and forget the "scared of your own shadow" brigade, you will not be doing anything illegal.

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2 hours ago, bkk6060 said:

It seems like total rip off especially if over 50.

 

Considering that the majority of the world population is younger than 50 years, ever considered the elite visa is actually directed at that majority?

 

Not every one moves to Thailand because they are so old and ugly that they don't get their leg over any more in their home country.

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2 hours ago, bkk6060 said:

It seems like total rip off especially if over 50.

It makes me wonder what type of education or work people did when they complain about how difficult, time consuming and confusing a simple retirement extension is.

If you have the basic requested documents go to the bank in the morning then head to immigration, it is maybe 1/2 day out of 365.

The 90 day never takes more then a few minutes.

Not sure if it is laziness or just brain confusion inability to organize.

 

Maybe some of us just don't like being treated like a criminal.

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11 minutes ago, possum1931 said:

Maybe some of us just don't like being treated like a criminal.

You still have to do the 90 day report, and every year if you decide not to leave and then return for another year you need to pay the same 1900 baht that others do for their extensions.  Yes someone holds your hand and with 2 million baht and a 20 year you get to golf yearly, go to the spa, get picked up in a car at the airport and whisked through the VIP lane, as well as paying an annual fee of 20,000 baht as well, Oh and I forgot with the big ticket Elite 20 year you also get a free annual physical at the hospital.  However, I can use the extra money to buy the worthless insurance here (as some people call it, but works for me just fine as my US policy picks up the deductible I have, and the US insurance is a lifetime free benefit with my pension), and then of course I can buy a new vehicle and pay the insurance and registration on it.  However, I do understand why some people would consider it and have more money then they have the time to run around and do things on there own.  I could afford it, but why, as I have stated above the money can go elsewhere and be used without issues.

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I have 3 friends that are on it and one of them got it a long time ago when it’s was much cheaper than it is now.

The other got it for his Asian partner to avoid visa issues with her as she is much younger than him.

Speaking them all they like it and all very happy with it and the service they get provided at the airport as whenever they choose to travel.

Considering it myself when I finish my work here and retire as I won’t be getting married to a Thai....will leave that to the professionals. 

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1 hour ago, possum1931 said:

Even if I was a billionaire several times over I would not get an Elite Visa, just get an agent, then you will have no running about for anything, a damn sight lot cheaper than an Elite, and forget the "scared of your own shadow" brigade, you will not be doing anything illegal.

Try doing that when you're 40 years old and see how it turns out

 

I knew someone who had business visas and a company setup, his annual costs were something like 250,000 Baht but he did work here for a while, perhaps 5 years or so. When he stopped work he continued doing it this way for years because it worked for him.

 

250k a year was pocket change to him so he didn't care one way or the other.

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